Tuesday, September 11, 2018 - The Apostle's Calling
Jesus departed to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God. When day came, he called his disciples to himself, and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named Apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called a Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
And he came down with them and stood on a stretch of level ground. A great crowd of his disciples and a large number of the people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and even those who were tormented by unclean spirits were cured. Everyone in the crowd sought to touch him because power came forth from him and healed them all.
How does one become an apostle? How does one lead people to Christ and the Church? If we flesh out the account of today's gospel, we can discover how it must have felt for the first ones. Whatever way we imagine that Christ “chose them from among his disciples” - it must have been a somewhat solemn atmosphere. To be singled out among a group lets you feel both proud and exposed; to be given an important task triggers a strong sense of responsibility; to be called by name raises the awareness that what is to come regards you personally and existentially; to be looked into the eyes has waves of trust washing over you. In synthesis, these and many more layers of such an experience express a calling. An apostle is called. And a calling implies solemnity, awareness, responsibility, and trust.
Has Jesus ever called upon you? Has He ever called you to do or become something? In my experience, there is more than the famous vocation for life. There are many vocations to be His apostle throughout life. It is good to learn how to perceive these little callings while (or even before) you track down the grand calling. What is, for example, the calling for these months? Has Jesus expressed an apostolic mission to you for these months? In short, as a Christian we are supposed to be apostles. Do you feel like a called apostle? Do solemnity, awareness, responsibility, and trust flicker in your heart?
Apostolate is all about Jesus. There is no apostolate without His prompting, calling, entrusting. Join Jesus on the “mountain to pray,” and seek for eye contact with Him. Abandon yourself in this encounter with total trust. Embrace His words or indications and make your life His life. Ask Him for two things alone: His grace and His love.